A little while back I went to the preview for an auction of William Eggleston prints at Christie’s, a sale that was arranged to benefit the Eggleston Artistic Trust. It was a particu;arly interesting event for me for a few different reasons. First because I absolutely love Eggleston’s photography (and the man is one of my favorite living artists), and also because the auction consisted of large format digital pigment prints, a rare departure from the dye-transfer prints that helped solidify him as one of American’s greatest photographers.
The guys at Devour just posted this great video of what I’m guessing is 16mm Kodachrome home movies from a group of Chicago Police officers and their wives while they visit Las Vegas in the early 1960s. The opening sequence takes place in a bus with long curved plexiglass windows (which makes for easy viewing of the Nevada / Arizona country) and is perfectly clear and in focus — incredible stuff. The quality of these home movies are pretty astonishing when you consider the era and equipment. Brings to mind the footage of VJ Day that we posted back this past August and the amazing Malibu home videos from 1965. Really interesting to see what Vegas was like in those days and how it has changed.
“More heady than love, ladies or liquor is the sporting-goods catalog of L. L. Bean, outfitter extraordinary to men who live so they may hunt and fish,” read Life magazine’s encomium to the entrepreneurial outdoorsman in October of 1941. From modest beginnings in 1911, sales at Leon Leonwood Bean’s Freeport mail order business had surpassed the $1 million mark by 1937. Life showcased a number of innovative items from the Bean catalog, beginning with the famous Maine Hunting Shoe, created when Bean had a seamstress sew elk hide leggings onto a pair of old rubbers to keep his feet warm and dry while duck hunting.
With my apartment positioned squarely within a Zone A of New York’s hurricane evacuation area, I decided to head to Ohio for the weekend to visit my folks and avoid all of the kerfuffle in the city. I got up early on Saturday, grabbed my car and headed west on Interstate 80. I wanted to get out of the city to avoid traffic before everyone was up and about, which meant that I got a quick start and made great time across the state of Pennsylvania. Around exit 70 I saw a sign for a flea market (a diversion that I have been able to successfully ignore on many previous occasions) but being as this was an unplanned trip and I had time on my side, I decided to peek in and see what this place had to offer.
To my surprise, the flea market had a good selection and was situated next to one of the best looking painted barns I have ever seen. There weren’t any crowds or obnoxious yuppies (not counting me anyway) and no food trucks serving lobster rolls — just a bunch of old stuff to peruse. The exit 70 flea is made up of four long stalls each staffed by an old timer that would happily accept conversation over a sale, a transaction I was happy to provide after five hours on I-80.
In the end I did pick up a few small items — resisting the two great lanterns below – took a few snaps of the barn and was on my way a happy man. If you ever find your self running from a massively over-hyped piece of weather and end up near exit 70 on I-80 in Pennsylvania (on a Saturday or Sunday in the spring, summer or fall), stop and check out that old barn and the flea. You won’t be disappointed.
The Yakima Ridge Runners off-road club was not afraid to have a good time driving-hard through the rugged lands of Washington State.
Filmed in the late 1940s or 1950s, these two amazing videos feature all kinds of fun with Willys CJs over all types of terrain. The films represent a look into life of another time — a free spirited American adventure. The old school clothing (which includes gratuitous amounts of khaki and wool plaid jackets), camping and of course off-roading is all incredible to see. In between the log jumping, river crossing and winching I noticed a few signs from Snoqualmie National Forest. Probably safe to say that the current stewards of our National Parks would frown upon this type of activity today.
These commercials have been floating around in my head for a while and for whatever reason today I felt compelled to get them all down here together in my little corner of the internet. While there is no arguing that many will find these stimulating in one way or another, I have to think this post will spawn a massive flame war in the comments. But I’m not going to let that stop me from sharing. Actually, I’m interested in hearing what you all think about all of this.
One thing’s for certain, there’s a darkness that runs through these videos (with the exception of the Dodge Freedom spot), a gritty, almost, reassuring quality in these. It’s a provocative bit of salesmanship all the way around, if you ask me. All that aside, even with a shaky economy, there seems to have never been a better time to be a man working in the world of advertising voice-over.